The Hippo


May 31, 2020








CATCH Wine Dinner

When: Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m.
Where: Granite Restaurant and Bar, 96 Pleasant St., Concord
Cost: $65 per person; call 227-9000, ext. 602 to make a reservation
Visit: to view the full five-course menu. Check out for information on CATCH Neighborhood Housing and its other programs, and

Eat, drink, give back
Wine dinner at Granite Restaurant to benefit CATCH


 Giving back feels great, and it might feel even better when all you have to do is go out to eat. Granite Restaurant and Bar is hosting a wine dinner this month to benefit CATCH Neighborhood Housing with a five-course dinner menu accompanied by global and local wine pairings.

The wine dinner is a first for both Granite Restaurant and CATCH, which helps provide affordable housing. The Centennial has held fundraisers for CATCH in the past, but this is the first time the Concord-based hotel and non-profit will come together for a wine dinner benefit.
“I think this is just another addition to being a community partner with [CATCH],” Granite Restaurant and Bar Executive Chef Corey Fletcher said. 
The five-course prix-fixe wine dinner to benefit CATCH includes wine pairings with each course, selected by chef Fletcher, and will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Granite Restaurant and Bar in Concord.
“Usually when I do any wine dinners with food and wine pairing … you can create the food and then find wine that goes with the food or you can create the food based on the wine,” Fletcher said. “I wanted to keep the menu pretty approachable.”
For this dinner, Fletcher first designed the menu, then found wines to pair with each course. The menu doesn’t stray far from the culinary style of Granite Restaurant. It features a European influence with local ingredients.
The dinner opens light, with seared jumbo sea scallops prepared with candied-apple wood-smoked bacon, pickled fennel, orange supreme and preserved Meyer lemon, paired with Harbor Town sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. The first course is followed by a pear, bleu cheese and hazelnut salad with ginger honey dressing and a California chardonnay. Later courses feature braised pork crostini and grilled Angus New York sirloin.
“I wanted to start off with something light and crisp and refreshing, and work to something a little bit heavier,” Fletcher said. “Just have a flow to the meal, instead of jumping around. … I actually like to have the stars of the dinner in the latter half of the meal. It’s always surprising that most wine dinners you do … they always remember the first course.”
Naturally, the wines also flow from light and crisp to heavier profiles. Fletcher selected a full range of varietals (starting with the sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, later followed by a merlot and a malbec) from a range of wine regions, like Napa Valley, New Zealand and Argentina.
The last course (dessert with mango Bavarian cream, coconut macaroon, roasted pineapple and mango salsa with a Tuile cookie) is paired with a glass of Ice Storm from Candia Vineyards.
“I just wanted the weight and flavor profile of the wines to go with the course,” Fletcher said. “I think more and more people just want to see local products, especially if it’s going to be a fundraiser for something local. I wanted to incorporate as many local producers as possible to showcase what community programs can do. It’s definitely a big-picture thing.”
That includes sourcing ingredients from local farms, like cheddar from Brookford Farm in Canterbury.
The dinner will also be accompanied by a New Hampshire representative from distributor M.S. Walker to talk about each of the wines, and Fletcher will present on each of the courses so diners can get a better idea of how the menu was structured and backgrounds on the wine pairings.
“Obviously we’re very grateful to the Centennial and Sue [O’Donnell, general manager of The Centennial Hotel],” CATCH President Rosemary Heard said in a recent phone interview. “As this economy gets harder and harder for folks … the need for affordable housing becomes much more acute.” 
As seen in the February 20, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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